Exploratory Essay


What Is an Exploratory Essay?

In fact, the standard exploratory essay definition is quite straightforward. An exploratory essay is a paper that approaches a particular topic from a purely objective point of view when the author is not trying to take sides. This type of essay examines different perspectives of the issue and explains each of them in detail for readers’ understanding.

Exploratory essays are meant to be impartial and fair. They examine the different perspectives of groups involved or interested in the issue and then go on to find a common ground.

In some cases, a topic or issue may have more than two sides. In this case, you would have to consider the third viewpoint in order to create an impressive and efficient solution to the problem.

Exploratory Questions: Types

There are several types of exploratory questions you may come across when dealing with an assignment or project. These include:

  1. Is this true? – This question examines if the topic or problem is real. Does it actually exist? For instance, if you are writing an essay on gender bias in Middle Eastern countries, this question addresses the validity of the problem. Does gender bias exist in Middle Eastern countries? How rampant is it?
  2. What does the problem in question mean? – This question helps your readers understand what the problem means. What does gender bias mean? Are there instances where it plays out in Middle Eastern countries and other parts of the world? This question basically helps to define the problem for your readers.
  3. Is it important? To what extent? – How important is your problem in the grand scheme of things? This question shows the relevance and value of your problem and the entire essay. Here, your readers have to understand why they should be reading about the problem in the first place.
  4. What is the cause? – The answer to this question basically highlights and outlines the causes of the problem. What causes gender bias in Middle Eastern countries? Can the root cause be traced? Here, you have to explore the reasons behind the problem.
  5. What actions should be taken? – The answers to this question will offer solutions to the problem. It basically outlines what can be done about the problem and how to go about it.

How to Choose a Topic for an Exploratory Essay

The choice of topics for exploratory essay research papers is not something you might enjoy doing on a cool breezy day. Not only is this process tiring; it can be as confusing as trying to solve a Rubik’s cube when you’re color-blind. However, there is a tiny shortcut that may help you choose the perfect topic. Simply ask yourself: what makes a good exploratory essay topic? Well, it’s definitely not the diction or the font you use.

Here’s a quick breakdown of all the qualities your topic needs to have:

The topic has not been solved before

If you do a quick search on Google for exploratory essay topics, you’d most likely be slapped in the face with tons of sample essay topics. However, most of these topics have probably been covered a thousand times by different scholars. Good exploratory essay topics are issues that have not been solved previously by anyone.

Now, this may be a little confusing for you. How do you get information on the topic if it hasn’t been solved before? Well, even if you’re dealing with a novel topic or idea, you could always get credible information by researching related issues or perspectives.

The topic has different perspectives

Your exploratory essay topic should be the one that has different perspectives or viewpoints. It is advisable to find at least three different perspectives on the issue or topic. This way, you can fully explore the topic and do justice to it. For instance, you could explore the issue of divorces and the ways they affect American children. A topic like this is likely to have several viewpoints and perspectives which you can explore in your essay.

The topic is really interesting and contradictory

Have you ever imagined a reader glancing at the topic of your essay and then tossing the paper away without even reading the first sentence? Well, this case is every writer’s worst nightmare. Although this scenario is completely made up, you don’t want to bore your readers before they start looking through your essay. To avoid this, it is important to choose a topic that is interesting and contradictory at the same time.

Try to think about what issues raise dust each time they are discussed. What kind of topic would garner reactions from readers?

For example, one of the controversial topics you could consider exploring is the issue of illegal immigration in America and the effects of the wall between Mexico and the USA. This topic is a particularly interesting one and would keep your audience hooked the minute they see it.

Exploratory Essay Topics

  • Cross Tabulation and Exploratory Data Analysis
  • It’s Better to Give Than to Receive
  • Exploratory on Plastic Bag Ban
  • Columbus’ Explorations of America
  • Child Prostitution and Pornography
  • Gay Marriage Exploratory
  • The Ignored Lessons of Anne Frank
  • Essay on Internet Privacy
  • The Death of Communism
  • Virtual Reality is Reality
  • Marijuana in the Past and Present
  • The Technological Advances in Space
  • Benefits Of Space

Exploratory Essay Topics For College Students

  • The Impact of Social Media on College Students
  • Pressures that College Students Face and Deal With
  • Influence of Deindividuation and Self-Awareness on College Students
  • Leaving Home for College: Expectations for Selective Reconstruction of Self
  • College Dropout Statistics and Causes for Increasing Numbers of Dropouts
  • Dulles Models of the Church
  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • A Study on Telecom Business
  • Interactivity in New Media Theory

Exploratory Essay Topics About Serial Killers

  • Serial Killers Nature Vs Nurture
  • Serial Killers And Society
  • Serial Killer Observation
  • Behind the Mind of a Serial Killer
  • The Mind and Motivation of a Serial Killer
  • The Twisted Mind of a Serial Killer
  • Serial Killer Fascination
  • Are Serial Killers Born or Made?
  • The Psychology of a Serial Killer
  • Biological Reasoning of Becoming a Serial Killer
  • Research on Ted Bundy – One of America’s Most Evil Serial Killer

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Exploratory Essay Outline

The typical exploratory essay outline has three major parts:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion


This is one of the most important parts of the essay. It helps you preview the essay and get the reader interested in what you have to say. Here, you have to describe some key terms used in the essay. Your sole aim in the introduction is to grab the reader’s attention.

To do this, try to say something unusual and eye-catching. It could be a pun or a badly told joke.

In the introduction, you have to explain the importance of your paper. Why should the readers read this piece in the first place? Does the paper add value to them? Ensure that the issue is relevant in today’s world.


The body of the exploratory essay is typically divided into two parts where each one addresses different factors.

Body: Part One

This part of the essay typically consists of one paragraph. It explains the issue at hand. It examines and explains the rhetorical situation. For instance, who are the people interested or involved in the issue? Why are they interested in the issue? This part also examines the history and development of the issue.

Body: Part Two

This is the major part of the essay which explains different positions or viewpoints on the issue. You would need to explain each viewpoint and give reasons why people believe in it. You would also need to come up with sound arguments for each position and support them with evidence or factual statements.

Create a separate paragraph for each viewpoint in order to make your essay readable and comprehensible. You may also strike a contrast or comparison between different views. While these steps aren’t absolutely necessary, they do add spice to your essay, making it look more professional.


The conclusion is basically a summary of what has been said in the introductory part of the essay. It restates the main problem addressed in the essay, outlines the important points of view, and then proposes possible solutions to the problem.

How to Start an Exploratory Essay?

If the choosing process of your exploratory essay’s topic was a rollercoaster, starting the essay itself is just like diving from the top of a high cliff with no safety harness on. Although this may seem a pretty dramatic picture, starting an exploratory essay can be quite difficult for a lot of people.

If you fall into this category, here are a few tips to help you write the perfect introduction to your essay:

  • Talk about all the issues you would be addressing in the essay: It is advisable to mention and outline all the issues you want to write about. This way, your reader can immediately determine if they’d be interested in the essay.
  • Start with a hook: the purpose of a hook is to convince the reader to continue reading. Start your introductory paragraph with a hook that can capture their attention.
  • Outline the essay’s purpose: The introduction should equally outline the purpose of the essay. What issues will the essay be tackling? What does the author hope to achieve with the essay? Ensure that your readers are not left in doubt about the purpose of your exploratory essay.

Exploratory Essay Examples

When it comes to writing exploratory essays or any other type of essay, you can gain inspiration by looking at samples of previously written essays. A really good exploratory essay example will set you on the right path immediately.

Some examples of explanatory essays can be found here:


Writing Tips for an Exploratory Essay

When it comes to writing exploratory essays or any other type of essay, it’s important to arm yourself with the right tips. This way, your efforts will result in a well-written and articulated essay.

Looking forward to writing a perfect exploratory essay? Here are some tips to make the process easier for you:

  • At the end of your research, review your notes and arrange your arguments in a logical order.
  • Always stick to your original outline. For a lot of essay writers, it may be tempting to add new points or remove a few points during the writing stage. However, exploratory essays can be quite specific and any unnecessary adjustment could alter the transition or logic of the paper. As such, it’s important to avoid adjusting your outline on the go.
  • Ensure that you identify at least three key positions on the subject matter.

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